Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Fixer: A Novel by Joseph Finder

The Fixer: A Novel.  Joseph Finder. Penguin Group (USA). June 2015. 384 pp.  ISBN#: 9780525954613.

Rick Hoffman started out as a sharp guy with a great investigative reporter job, a great fiance and plenty of money linked to his job.  It bought him access to search out crime and scandal wherever it existed.  But now his fortune is in reverse mode with no job, no fiance and no money, just a dilapidated home sorely in need of a makeover in order to be sold.  His Dad was a lawyer who is now a resident in a nursing home as a result of a massive stroke that pretty much ended not only his job but any way to communicate with Rick, or anyone else for that matter.

So Rick is out of money and the owner of several maxed out credit cards. Hardly a paragon of success!  However, while talking about renovations with his neighbor, they are wrecking an upstairs wall and come upon a stack of packages.  Rick has discovered way over a million dollars of cash.  He thinks his neighbor has seen him trying to hide it but isn’t sure.  So the story really begins with several problems.  Where is he to hide all this money?  Where did all this money come from?

All of Rick’s sleuth skills are now in play.  Talking to people who knew his father’s work life and connections, he quickly discovers his Dad was what is known as a “bag man.” For those not into the criminal world, that’s a person who pays off certain public and privately important people to get “the job” done, usually an illegal or secret job that must never be exposed to public scrutiny.

The tension mounts as it’s clear the owner or owners of that money know Rick’s got the money and are going to do anything to get it back. That includes some very violent scenes that up the tension-riddled moments and Rick barely escapes up to a point.

The Fixer is connected to a scandal once known as Boston’s “Big Dig” project.  Payoffs aren’t news to most alert consumers and citizens in contemporary times.  What is never business as usual concerns the extent to which some important or powerful people will go to make sure that payoff plans become finished business.  It’s up to Rick to finish the job!  

Fairly simple plot but plenty of action  plus a little bit of sexy romance for those that love criminal fiction!

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